Foreigners May Acquire Ownership Rights over Land

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Foreigners and foreign legal persons may acquire ownership rights over land, forests and forest stock land tracks and agricultural land under the terms of an international treaty ratified by a two-thirds majority that has been promulgated and has entered into force. Foreigners may also acquire ownership over land by inheritance by law, Parliament decided Friday passing conclusively amendments to the Ownership Act, reported BTA.

Citizens of the EU or of states parties to the European Economic Space Agreement (EESA), as well as legal persons of the EU or of states parties to the EESA, will be able to acquire ownership rights over land, forests and forest stock land tracks under the requirements established by law and in compliance with the terms stipulated in Bulgaria's EU Accession Treaty.

Foreigners and foreign legal persons not permanently resident in Bulgaria will be able to acquire land for a second home after the expiry of the term set in Bulgaria's EU Accession Treaty, Parliament also decided.

A foreign state or intergovernmental organization will be able to acquire ownership over land and buildings and limited real rights over immovable property in the country on the basis of an international treaty, a law or an act of the Council of Ministers, Parliament decided.

Foreigners who acquire ownership rights over forests or forest stock land tracks through inheritance under a law but do not meet the conditions of Bulgaria's EU Accession Treaty will have three years to transfer their ownership rights to persons eligible to acquire them unless otherwise provided for by
another law. After this period the State will have the right to buy the forests or forest stock land tracks at prices set by an Ordinance of the Council of Ministers.

Foreigners and foreign legal persons will have the right to ownership over forests and land in protected areas, provided they are not exclusive state property, under international treaties ratified by Parliament by a two-thirds majority, observing the requirements of the Protected Areas Act, the Agricultural Land Ownership and Tenure Act and the Forests Act in line with the terms and conditions laid down in Bulgaria's EU Accession Act.

Foreigners will be able to acquire ownership over forests and land in protected areas which are not exclusive state property by inheritance. Foreign states cannot acquire ownership over forests, land and water basins in protected areas, Parliament decided.

Citizens of the EU who are agricultural producers wishing to establish themselves permanently in Bulgaria and have been registered under BULSTAT will be able to acquire ownership over land and forest property for the purposes of farming

Foreigners who acquire ownership rights over agricultural land through inheritance under a law but do not meet the respective conditions stipulated in Bulgaria's EU Accession Treaty will have three years to transfer their ownership rights to persons, eligible to acquire them, under the amendments to the Ownership Act passed by Parliament Friday.

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